Funding Opportunity for U.S.-government exchange alumni

Funding Opportunity Title:            Alumni Rapid Response Program.
Deadline for Applications:             April 5, 2021
CFDA Number:                               19.900
Total Amount Available:                $30,000

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The U.S. Embassy Baku Public Affairs Section (PAS) is pleased to announce its 2021 Alumni Rapid Response Fund Program. The program supports alumni-led projects of up to $10,000 that address problems created by the current COVID-19 situation and future COVID-19 recovery efforts.  We encourage alumni to submit projects that bolster community engagement while addressing the needs that have arisen due to the current global health crisis, including, but not limited to: media literacy, access to education, economic empowerment, and community resilience.

All programs must include a connection with American culture, expert(s), organization(s), or institution(s) in a specific field that will promote increased understanding of U.S. policies and perspectives.

 

Participants and Audiences:

The intended audience for potential projects includes entrepreneurs, educators, journalists, young people, women, IDP and other vulnerable communities, people with disabilities, and the public.

Alumni should ensure proposals fall within these parameters:

  • Proposals must be submitted by alumnus/a, or an alumni team as an alumni-led project.
  • Virtual programs are also encouraged.
  • Submitted proposals/budgets should be strong with little revision/follow-up required.
  • Projects cannot provide direct support to health organizations (e.g., donating facemasks or medicine). 
  • Applicants should aim to propose virtual projects. If the project cannot be executed virtually, the proposal should explain the public-health precautions the project will institute.

Length of performance period:  Proposed programs should be completed in 12 months or less.
Number of awards anticipated:  Up to five awards, depending on available funds
Award amounts: Awards may range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $10,000
Anticipated program start date: June 2021

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Submissions are solicited from U.S.-government-sponsored exchange alumni with relevant experience. This experience should be documented in the proposal.

Cost-Sharing or Matching

Though cost-sharing is not mandatory, applicants are encouraged to include their contribution in the suggested project budget, which also can be an in-kind contribution (equipment, labor, program materials, etc.).

APPLICATION AND SUBMISSION INFORMATION

Please follow all instructions below carefully. Proposals that do not meet the requirements of this announcement or fail to comply with the stated requirements will be ineligible.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION FORM

 

Content of Application

Please ensure:

  • The proposal clearly addresses the goals and objectives of this funding opportunity
  • All documents are in English
  • All budgets are in U.S. dollars

Applications should be emailed to Alumni Outreach Program Coordinator Sabina Abdullayeva abdullayevas@state.gov.   Please be sure to send all attachments in one email message and include your first name, last name, and program name in the subject line of the email. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. (Baku time) April 5, 2021

The following documents are required:

  1. Mandatory forms (available from abdullayevas@state.gov upon request).
  2. Summary Page: Cover sheet stating the applicant name and organization, proposal date, program title, program period proposed start and end date, and brief purpose of the program.
  3. Proposal: The proposal should contain sufficient information that anyone not familiar with it would understand exactly what the applicant wants to do. Use the attached proposal form which includes all the items below:
  • Proposal Summary: Short narrative that outlines the proposed program, including program objectives and anticipated impact.
  • Introduction to the Organization or Individual Applying: A description of past and present operations that demonstrates the ability to carry out the program, including information on all previous award from the U.S. Embassy and/or U.S. Government agencies.
  • Problem Statement: Clear, concise, and well-supported statement of the problem to be addressed and why the proposed program is needed, and demonstrating the link the project has to American culture, experts, organizations, or institutions.
  • Program Goals and Objectives:  The “goals” describe what the program is intended to achieve.  The “objectives” refer to the intermediate accomplishments the program will accomplish as it proceeds toward the final goals. These should be achievable and measurable.
  • Program Activities: Describe the program activities and how they will help achieve the objectives.
  • Program Methods and Design: A description of how the program is expected to work to solve the stated problem and achieve the goal.
  • Proposed Program Schedule and Timeline:  The proposed timeline for the program activities.  Include the dates, times, and locations of planned activities and events.
  • Key Personnel: Names, titles, roles, and experience/qualifications of key personnel involved in the program.  What proportion of their time will be used in support of this program?
  • Program Partners:  List the names and type of involvement of key partner organizations and sub-awardees.
  • Program Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: This is a mandatory part of the project budget. Throughout the timeframe of the award, how will the activities be monitored to ensure they are happening in a timely manner, and how will the program be evaluated to ensure it meets the goals of the award?  Note: all project finalists will be required to work with Embassy staff to develop and incorporate a project-specific monitoring and evaluation plan.  When calculating your budget costs, you should allocate Monitoring and Evaluation activity expenses not exceeding 5% of your entire budget.
  • Future Funding or Sustainability Applicant’s plan for continuing the program beyond the award period, or the availability of other resources, if applicable.
  • Budget Narrative:  describe each of the budget expenses in detail.  See section Other Information: Guidelines for Budget Submissions below for further information.
  1. Attachments:
  • 1-page CV or resume of key personnel who are proposed for the program
  • Letters of support from program partners describing the roles and responsibilities of each partner
  • Official permission letters, if required for program activities

APPLICATION REVIEW INFORMATION

Each application will be evaluated and rated on the basis of the evaluation criteria outlined below:

Quality and Feasibility of the Program Idea:  The program idea is well developed, with detail about how program activities will be carried out. The proposal includes a reasonable implementation timeline.

Organizational Capacity and Record on Previous Awards: The Alumnus/a or alumni team has expertise in its stated field and has capacity to manage federal funds.  This includes ability to manage funds and hold a bank account.

Program Planning/Ability to Achieve Objectives: Goals and objectives are clearly stated and program approach is likely to provide maximum impact in achieving the proposed results.

Budget: The budget justification is detailed.  Costs are reasonable in relation to the proposed activities and anticipated results. The budget is realistic, accounting for all necessary expenses to achieve proposed activities.

Monitoring and Evaluation Plan: Applicant demonstrates it is able to measure program success against key indicators and provides milestones to indicate progress toward goals outlined in the proposal. The program includes output and outcome indicators, and shows how and when they will be measured.

Sustainability: Program activities will continue to have positive impact after the end of the program.

If you have any questions about the award application process, please contact: abdullayevas@state.gov.

 

OTHER INFORMATION

Guidelines for Budget Justification

Personnel and Fringe Benefits: Describe the wages, salaries, and benefits of temporary or permanent staff who will be working directly for the applicant on the program, and the percentage of their time that will be spent on the program.

Travel: Estimate the costs of travel and per diem for this program, for program staff, consultants or speakers, and participants/beneficiaries. If the program involves international travel, include a brief statement of justification for that travel.

Supplies: List and describe all the items and materials, including any computer devices, that are needed for the program. If an item costs more than $5,000 per unit, it will be considered as an equipment and not supplies.

Contractual: Describe goods and services that the applicant plans to acquire through a contract with a vendor.  Also describe any sub-awards to non-profit partners that will help carry out the program activities.

Other Direct Costs: Describe other costs directly associated with the program that do not fit in the other categories. For example, shipping costs for materials and equipment or applicable taxes. All “Other” or “Miscellaneous” expenses must be itemized and explained.

Cost Sharing: Contributions from the organization or other entities other than the U.S. Embassy.   In-kind contributions – such as volunteers’ time and donated venues – should be included.

Alcoholic Beverages:  Please note that award funds cannot be used for alcoholic beverages.